NUTTY BANANA GRANOLA
“Health is a great treasure. It is the richest possession that mortal can have. Wealth, honor, or learning is dearly purchased, if it be at the loss of the vigor of health. None of these attainments can secure happiness if health is wanting”. C. E., p 16.
Genesis 1:29: “And God said, “see, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”
APRIL 7TH, 2013
NUTTY BANANA GRANOLA
2 medium sized bananas
¼ cup pecans
¼ cup almonds (chopped)
¼ cup walnuts
6 large dates, pitted
¼ tsp. sea salt
2 ½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup raisins and dried cranberries (optional)
1 cup water or almond or rice milk
1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick stainless steel pan
2. Combine the oats, pumpkin, sesame seeds, coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. If there are other nuts that you prepare use those instead – e.g. Cashew nuts, brazil nuts
3. Combine in a small saucepan the salt, dates and water, bring to a boil over medium heat for 5 minutes then remove from heat and cool. Pour in a blender and blend with bananas until smooth.
4. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes. Cool, and then stir in the raisins and cranberries before storing in an airtight container.
You can have the granola as is, or you can add a small amount of almond milk and enjoy!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS
Both green and yellow bananas are high fiber foods rich in potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, and vitamin C. They have high calorific value because of their high sugar levels. A medium sized banana provides about 105 calories. Also, bananas are very good for our Gastro-Intestinal tract and aids in digestion. Therefore, eating one or two bananas is indeed good for health. Once bananas ripen fully, store them in the refrigerator to minimize further vitamin loss. Fresh bananas with brown patches on the skin are ripe enough to eat immediately. Make sure to avoid over-ripe bananas whose skin has turned brown or split open.
1. Bananas are good for your heart and nerves: Bananas contain a high dose of potassium - an essential ingredient to keep your heart and nervous system in good shape. Potassium is essential for proper muscle contraction and hence plays an important role in muscle-influenced activities including: the normal rhythmic pumping of the heart, digestion, muscular movements, etc., Some studies have also linked low potassium intake to high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke. Most of us don’t get enough potassium in our diet (recommended dose is about 4 g per day) - blame it on our fast food culture. Including a banana (or two) in your diet everyday would take you a step closer towards getting your daily recommended dose of potassium (references: American Heart Association, University of Maryland Medical Center, Colorado State University).
2. Bananas are good for your kidneys and bones: Benefits to the kidneys and the bones are again due to the high potassium content of bananas. A normal intake of potassium suppresses calcium excretion in the urine and minimizes the risk of kidney stones. Also, for the same reason (suppressing of calcium excretion), it minimizes the loss of calcium from the body and thereby reduces the risk of osteoporosis (references: University of Maryland Medical Center,University of Kansas Medical Center).
3. Bananas can act as mood enhancers or mild sedatives: Bananas contain tryptophan (although it’s not one of the major sources, a medium banana still contains about 10.6 mg of tryptophan). Tryptophan is one of the 20 amino acids which are building blocks of proteins (btw, an incredible number of articles on the internet call tryptophan as a “mood-enhancing protein” and that is technically not correct). Tryptophan helps the body to produce serotonin - which has a calming effect on the brain (creates a stable mood) and acts as a mild sedative. It should be noted that the only way our body gets it’s dose of tryptophan is through our diet - it does not produce tryptophan naturally; bananas is one of the easiest ways to get it (references: Nutritiondata.com,Chemistry Daily, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, NIH MedLinePlus).
4. Bananas are good for your blood: Bananas are one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 plays an important role in converting tryptophan to serotonin and also helps the body to make hemoglobin - a crucial ingredient of your blood. Vitamin B6 is also essential for antibody production and to maintain a healthy immune response. It also helps to convert carbohydrates to glucose and thereby maintains proper blood sugar levels. A medium banana can take care of 1/5th of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6 and is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to increase your dietary intake of the vitamin (references: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements).
5. Bananas are good source of dietary fiber: A single serving (one medium-sized banana) contains 16% of the daily recommended dietary fiber intake for a normal adult - that’s substantial for a single serving of any food. Fiber improves laxation (smooth bowel movements). Fiber-rich diets have also been linked to lower risk of coronary heart disease and of type 2 diabetes. Also, view this information in light of the following facts (references: Health.gov,NIH PubMed - abstract is sufficient):
The information given here is for educational purposes only. It is meant to be used as a guide towards health and does not replace the evaluation by and advice of a qualified licensed health care professional. For detailed interpretation of your health and specific conditions, consult with your physician.